Shirts for Fat Guys - How your Dress Shirt Should Fit

One of the worst things about clothing is that, in a nutshell, it is made the same for everyone. Of course, while sizes may switch up a bit from male to female, this may also happen with companies in Europe and China as well. Their sizes are not the same as those used by Americans. In the end, all clothing sizes are difficult to deal with as a proper shirt for fat guys has rarely ever existed.

overweight man wearing dress shirt and jeans

More importantly, dress shirts are harder to find for the bigger fellow.

The reason for this is two-fold, Normal clothing sizes are made to fit specific body types & the companies realize they can make more money off of big & tall clothing.

Have you ever noticed this?

The same shirt a random guy may get in a large, in the Big & Tall section of a store, will cost much more. This is a rip-off, as the extra fabric is nowhere near enough reason to add a far higher cost like this.

There are hacks to avoid this kind of crap, as you can find clothing to help you out. In fact, we're going to tell you exactly how to do it.

The Obvious:

Unless you're discussing a shirt made customthen no shirt for fat guys will ever come from the "fitted shirt" section. Even if there is an XXL or XXXL, choosing a shirt that is fitted or slim cut will just be a nightmare for all involved. Of course, custom jobs can get the shirt you desire and this can come across as fitted.

overweight man in shirt is small to him with huge belly and open buttons

However, it is not as you're quite literally needing someone to take your exact measurements and make you a shirt to highlight your body. That obviously means you're not going to be able to pick up a shirt off of a rack and randomly assume even at a bigger size that it will fit you and look great.

While this sort of thing "should" be obvious, it is often forgotten or completely overlooked by some men. Sometimes this is intentional while other times it is accidental. Always look at a dress shirt and do your best to try it on before leaving the store.

We'd also recommend a proper tie. You want a collar that will hide any fat in the neck while you want a tie to sort of show you're not as big as people assume. This is a great trick of the eye to do while wearing a suit jacket. The tie and collar can hide any upper body fat when sitting. Meanwhile, as you stand, it may not work as well.

chubby guy wearing white dress shirt with tie

Tie patterns can also help here. Usually, solid ties are best but a nice crazy pattern can be distracting or funny. This will take minds off of your figure and focus it in an area that highlights you as a person. It is said that a man's tie can tell you a bit about them as human beings. Therefore, the proper tie is a great way to show people who you are.

Why not then use this opportunity to show them a bit of you while slightly hiding another part?

The Undershirt:

There is not enough credit given to the average undershirt. While some guys can walk around without one, this is a risk for all involved. The average guy may sweat a good bt underneath his dress shirt. Meanwhile, a dress shirt for fat guys is not somehow super-charged to avoid this. As a bigger man, we know you'll be almost guaranteed to sweat.

man overbelly fat wearing white under shirt and jeans

Undershirts will help to catch a good portion of this. It'll keep it from showing up on your dress shirt, which will save possible embarrassment. If normal dudes deal with this, we should not pretend it won't be a problem for the bigger man too.

However, if you wear an undershirt, a lot of things can be considered. Some men will wear a random white t-shirt while others may wear a tank top or the infamous yet poorly named "wifebeater" shirt. Each offers something important to the fit of your dress shirt. If you're wearing a normal white t-shirt, this could cause some men to need a slightly bigger dress shirt. This obviously depends on the thickness of that t-shirt.

fat man wearing blue undershirt

Meanwhile, tank tops are usually not going to need this. Wifebeater tanks, on the other hand, offer something slightly useful. They can help squeeze some of our stomachs in. While it won't be a ton, it could mean the difference between a round belly look versus the fat-folds look.

Consider The Cotton/Polyester Mix:

Truly, we do not ever give enough credit to the fabric. Of course, all dress shirts will be different in this department. Of course, this may all depend on what you believe is a dress shirt too. We tend to believe that anything you can wear with a full suit will count. Meanwhile, things like Polo Shirts count as "nice shirts." Those random Gabriel Iglesias Hawaiian T-Shirts certainly do not count. Sorry, Fluffy.

large man wearing red polo shirt

Therefore, we're strictly discussing what is accurately labeled as a "dress shirt" here. The type of fabric a shirt will be can determine how useful it can be. When you consider a shirt for fat guys, you need to consider the fabrics that can stretch yet also keep a proper look. Fabric such as Polyester is known for this, whereas Cotton has trouble with it.

Many shirts you'll see today are half & half with this. Yet full Polyester can be awesome to see.

Yet Cotton has some terrific benefits. It keeps its color for a lot longer, as well as it soaks up possible sweat due to great absorbency. On top of this, Cotton breathes, so you won't get too cool or too hot. Yet Polyester has a much longer life. Due to being a man-made fabric, it can hold up against multiple issues. On top of this, polyester does not hold stains and is very easy to clean in comparison.

This is why so many shirts have a mix between the two. Depending on the guy you are, one type might be better for you. Yet the mix is also huge.

While some shirts. may indeed say they are a mix, you may also see something known as "Poplin" pop up. This is actually a cotton or cotton/polyester mixed shirt. It just has a consolidated name. It is also often seen in dress shirts more than random t-shirts.

This "fabric" type can sometimes also be in play to jack up prices, so be aware of that.

Meanwhile, Oxford fabric is very different. This is the type of fabric people love because it is formed to fit the size it is connected to. Yet this is also the type of shirt you want if you want to tailor your shirt. More on this later.

Buy Bigger To Shrink Down:

A lot of guys know this trick by now. Sure, there is a shirt you like but it does not come in your size. There are smaller versions of it and even larger versions. Yet this does not help you in any way, right? This is why we'd recommend getting the size up.

Once you get home, you should always wash anything you buy from a store before wearing it. Not only does this help you clean the thing to get rid of germs and other issues, but it can also help you with sizing.

The moment you wash the shirt, throw it in the dryer as its still dripping wet. We mention this because it is very key to make sure this shirt is washed and as wet as possible.

white polo shirt soak powder detergent water dissolution washing cloth

Once you put it in the dryer, set it on the highest heat setting. It'll be fine in there, but when you do this, the water will start to dry on the shirt. Most shirts, especially Cotton, Linen, and Oxford fabrics, will shrink slightly in this setting. By the time you get it out, it should have shrunk down at least one size. Some fabrics such as polyester do not seem to be as affected by this, so consider your fabric before attempting.

Patterns & Colors:

It has been widely claimed that the pattern and color a shirt happens to be will make someone look bigger or smaller. In some ways, this is true. This is a trick of the eye, however. The way one stands and walks can also affect this.

Stripes are considered a no-no for bigger men, and we're even told that big men cannot wear skinny ties. This is all complete BS. The reasoning? They believe this because patterns are often exposing. Stripes do not complement bigger figures, but they can actually do this well depending on how you wear them.

When considering a shirt for fat guys, one should look at the type of stripes on top of the color. Usually darker colors are going to be great for bigger men as darker colors can often come off as slimming. This means colors like dark blue, dark purple, grey, black, etc.

striped shirt for fat men

Yet you can also look at shirts like the Paul Fredrick Non-Iron Supima Cotton Engineered Shirt, which has a thinned stripe look. With an undershirt, this can be pulled off easily. In shirts like this, the stripes are almost faded in. So in spite of the lighter, striped option....a bigger man can pull it off.

Naturally, solid colors are easy for every man. Black is the most common color to use for people who want to appear thinner. Even women love using black to look great. The little black dress is not a myth. The nice black dress shirt can work just as well for a bigger man.

The Best Cuts & Pants Matter:

The cut of your shirt is often just as important as the fabric. Yet the type of pants you buy and how you wear them will also play a large role in this too.

man fails to button his khaki pants

The best thing about some major suit or dress clothing makers is that they will have better options size-wise. The only problem here is that they tend to often come from an overpriced Big & Tall section. For some men, we're wider and not taller. Thus, our bodies are not right for this section. This can be an issue.

That is why most men should look for shirts with a Relaxed Cut or something similar to this. When it is not form-fit, you have a lot more room and that can be very helpful for a bigger guy. All of the Big & Tall clothing is typically made with relaxed areas near the neck, belly, and shoulders. However, this can also be found in the Relaxed cut too. Some places call this the "Classic" cut while others may have an even more relaxed cut-type.

It honestly just depends on how big of a guy you are. This is a cut that is perfect in a shirt for fat guys because it can look very good while also allowing you to tuck it in without compromising the appearance. You can also leave a fold here, giving you a pop-up of the shirt that can hide any possible gut that might come forward randomly.

The pants you buy and the belt you use will help greatly with this. We always recommend buying one size above your pants size when you buy dress pants. The reason? Storage.

If you have a gut, it does not matter what shirt for fat guys is on your person, you're still going to have fat coming out. Meanwhile, buying a size up in pants will allow you to store your gut in the pants. You do not want to look too old, so this could be accompanied by a suit jacket that will hide this too.

The belt plays a big role, as you can tighten and loosen the pants at your leisure. The looser it is, the more likely you'll be able to sort of hiding the gut stored. When standing, it'll be much easier to hide even when you tighten it up.

Proper Tailoring:

While getting your dress shirt or pants custom-made can be quite expensive, buying something and then going to a tailor to get everything fixed up to fit you properly won't be nearly as expensive. Keep in mind, you're buying dress clothes. These will be quite important to wear, depending on the job you have.

big man in blue coat

While custom clothing will require someone to take and then make clothes especially for you, a tailor or even a seamstress can help with clothing you already have. The prices vary here, but the average cost for this is anywhere between $20 to $60 on average in the United States.

Some places are more, especially if the person is well-known or designs their own clothes too. Thus, we'd recommend going to a standard tailor, as a lot of these people are very good at their job.

Oxford fabric type

The best shirt for fat guys to do this with is the Oxford fabric type. They can be tailored the easiest all across your body. They were seemingly made for people to alter. Some of these shirts, at times, have come with a guide on how to alter them. It is really quite comical. Other shirts can also be altered for a great person in this profession. It just seems Oxford is the best to do this with over others.

That said, we'd also recommend getting a larger size than you need. It is much easier to cut down than to add material to a shirt.

A tailor or seamstress will get your exact measurements and get your exact fit while also making alterations to give you freedom where you need it while also highlighting your positives. Have nice arms but a beer gut? A tailor or seamstress will hide the bad and highlight the good.

tailor clothing alterations

The best part of this is that these alterations can continue to be done. If you lose weight and need the shirt(s) fixed, they will do that for you. If you gain weight, they'll fit them too. Ultimately, this is a get out of jail free guide for bigger dudes.

1 comment


Thank you for publishing this article. I’m a significantly overweight man, and for the longest time just could not find items that fit me like I would. Well, I still can’t, but this guide has helped me in knowing what to look for. Thank you.

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